Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 71: Nine Miles of Climbing

Friday, August 10, 2018 – 13.20 miles

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Finally a cooler day today! Which was good, since the first nine miles of the day were one long, steady uphill and I wasn’t feeling inspired. I saw ants hollowing out tunnels in the end of a log and thought about how much effort it must have taken them to produce the amount of wood dust already on the ground, then continued sitting and eating chips.

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Cute

Signs marked the boundaries of a mysterious ‘experimental area’.

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I met Half Pint and Arrow in the early afternoon and enjoyed chatting with them for awhile. Soon afterwards I met an smelly hiker (I could smell him on the wind after he passed by) who commented that I looked oddly clean and asked whether I had bought new gear recently. No… it’s because your standards have become wildly incompatible with those of everyday society…

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I dragged myself up the rest of the incline, then along the Big Huckleberry Mountain side trail because it was only 0.1 miles. I wouldn’t recommend it though since equal/better views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams are available from the PCT, and there was a lot of broken glass up there. A nearby campsite offered the best view of Adams, which was cradled in a bed of smoke. I’ve been coughing these last few days and I wonder whether it’s because of the air quality. I bought an N95 mask back in Bend and I’ll try it out if the cough persists with no other symptoms.

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Mt. Adams in the wildfire haze

I ended up camping at an established site beside Big Lava Bed, which covers nearly a cubic kilometre. It’s a nice site, with the lava bed right there to scramble across, though the bed is overgrown and doesn’t have the same aesthetic splendor as the Three Sisters area.

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